A community business and religious leader and good friend, and a longtime friend and fellow kibitzer I kept in contact with until the end have died since last I wrote.
Carol Eure was known as Mr. Gallant Belk and extremely active in his church. He helped me tremendously when I owned the weekly Gainesville Tribune, becoming my first department store advertising account and regularly inserted circulars.
Sara Davidson, a longtime widow and friend, passed leaving two children and a number of grandchildren, etc. Since she was in various nursing homes, several out of the county, I didn't get to see her much but we always kept in near weekly telephone contact.
We had this thing going. When I called her I'd ask when she answered if this were so-and-so (Abigail Prunella, Cora Bell or Lulabelle Hornblower for example). The names varied. When she called me, the first thing she'd say is "what's my name today?" and howl in laughter when I gave her another. I always had to have some such name on the tip of my tongue. This went on for years.
I kept updated on her health progress as I'd see her son-in-law Jerome Winfrey at Turnstile Deli on Wednesdays. Betty and I am almost always there for the creamy wild rice soup served only Wednesdays.
Here's a two-decade update on a person I wrote about several times. While I was still the fulltime associate editor of The Times, I managed a special account to help people who faced dire circumstances through no fault of their own. Several local businessmen anonymously regularly contributed to that fund. I've never revealed their numbers until after their deaths.
Among the contributors who have died were such well-know names as Joe Telford, Charlie Edmondson, brothers Charlie and Hoyt Perdue, Keith Rochester, Brad Nicholson and a few others still alive.
A divorced mother of two children was going to nursing school to better her and her children's lives, and was one of our newspaper carriers. She also had another job and sometime even a third part-time job.
She hit a low spot, being unable to find a way to continue supporting her family, get enough rest and continue in nursing school at North Georgia College.
We had never taken on a project that large, but her earnestness and determination were solid. I contacted these financial sources and collectively we were able to find her a partial scholarship, pay some of her expense and loan her the balance interest-free.
Most of us and our wives attended her graduation and capping ceremony, and Brad and Keith and possibly some of the others forgave her debt and gave her and the children a weeklong vacation in Panama Beach, Fla. before she started work.
I honestly had forgotten all about it until last week I got a communication from her. She said she had been thinking about being thankful for all her blessings and was reminded of me and of the several columns I had written about her and wanted to thank me again for helping her. She donated half of her first paycheck to the help fund.
Updating, she now is a charge nurse in the emergency department at Emory Johns Creek Hospital in Atlanta. She also volunteers for FOCUS, which provides for challenged children and has volunteered in a free Dawsonville Clinic and the Dawsonville Fire Department where she lives.
She wrote: "I needed help desperately and you were there. I have tried to give back to other people that have needed assistance. My girls are grown and I have a new granddaughter on the way."
You longtime readers may remember the name of Lynn Talmadge. She's an epitome of citizens who want to make something of themselves but find hurdles they can't jump on their own. When they get help and succeed they give back, keeping the giving chain going. Good for her.
Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion page editor of The times. His column appears on alternating Tuesdays. Reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503.